I said so! PW's do it smarter!
Back in September after having attended Photokina, I hinted that PocketWizard had something up their sleeves in my podcast from PhotoKina as well as in this blog.
They wouldn't go official with it, but my conversation with Lorenzo Gasparini did leave me with the impression that there was something interesting cooking. As a reply to my question about PocketWizard and exposure control, Lorenzo Gasparini said: There's no exposure control... not at this point.
Me: Ah, not at this point. Are you revealing something? Because the market is moving in that direction. You of course know about the RadioPoppers and that whole movement, which of course has gained a lot of interest.
Lorenzo: PocketWizard is an innovative company. Some people may view PocketWizard as being slow or behind. Nothing could be further from the truth. The engineers at PocketWizard simply don't wanna present or introduce a "you too" product. We're looking where the need of photographers are, and then try to imagine where the next step would be beyond that. And that's exactly what we're working on now.
I can tell you this much, that in 2009 you will see some very interesting products from us.
Hear the full interview in the podcast.
And here it is, the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 – new and small units with full TTL-control. The new system outdoes what the manufacturer's own systems do. Through some very intelligent handling of the sync signal, the new PocketWizards are actually able to wring an extra stop of shutter speed sync, and at the same time utilize the smart dosing of flash light controlled by the camera. And take notice that this is done without infrared control or preflash pulses, but through classical focal plane TTL measurements and the flash shoe contacts. Hooray!
The units are highley programmable, and have USB-ports for adjustment and updates.
The prices are expected to land at 200.- US$ for the mini and 220.- for the Flex, which is more than reasonable, considering the power and flexibility of the system. And users of the current PocketWizards and not left behind. The new system is fully compatible with the old, but without the TTL-facilies.
For now the new system is only available for Canon-cameras, but with a promise to service us Nikon-folks using a different hotshoe-configuration and signal protocol in the second quarter of 2009... in the US and Canada.
As always we poor non-US photographers have to lag behind, probably due to rigorous rules regarding radio control devices. Getting the permission to market these things as well as adjusting the technology to fit all markets seems an odious task. Pretty annoying if you ask me, and with the result that we are always serviced later than North America.
Well, never mind, because PocketWizard will very likely get all permissions and make their new system available worldwide. With the huge installed base of their current industry standard system, they are bound to follow up internationally.
Great news for all strobists!
PocketWizard has a great little video on the system on YouTube, which you can see below.